NX 11 boasts many great enhancements, and one area in particular where you will notice we’ve made changes is the sketcher. You get a more accurate idea of what your changes will look like prior to finalizing them thanks to a change in how the sketch preview displays. Dimensions remain relative to geometry to help you stay organized and keep your display neat (and save you from fiddling with dimensions any time you move geometry!). There’s even a new sketch browser to allow you greater visibility into the constraints that affect the geometry, and more. Read on for more details and a firsthand look at the improved sketcher in NX 11.
First, let’s look at the change in how the sketch preview is displayed. When altering the geometry of a sketch prior to NX 11, a ghost image would show a preview of the change alongside the existing sketch. This could get confusing and cause your screen to appear quite cluttered, particularly in the case of complex sketches with many intricate details.
Now, however, when you adjust sketch parameters such as by using the slider as seen in the video below, the geometry of the sketch actually moves in the preview and any dimensions go with it. This gives you a more accurate idea of what the final changes will look like after you apply them. It also keeps the display nice and clear as you’re working.
Once you apply changes to the sketch, you will see that the dimension locations update relative to the sketch. This saves you from having to manually move and adjust them. Though seemingly a small change, consider how much time this saves when you make multiple changes to a sketch over time. This is especially true in cases where you have a large, complex sketch with many dimensions.
A change that received applause from the audience of users at PLM Connection 2016 is scale to first dimension. Starting in NX 11, when you change the first dimension on a sketch, the entire sketch updates to scale based on that dimension. This is a huge time saver when you have a finished sketch that you need to update quickly.
Yet another enhancement to the sketcher in NX 11 is a new sketch browser that allows you to see how geometry in the sketch is constrained as well as the constraints used. The top level node object can be set to show either curves or constraints. When displaying all curves in the sketch, an indicator shows whether the curve is constrained fully, partially, or not at all. You can also expand the curves in the menu to show a list of the constraints applied to each one.
When the top level node is set to constraints, you see a list of all constraints in the sketch first, and you can then expand them to see the curves they affect and the indicator for level of constraint. The sketch browser makes it easier to edit, hide, or even delete constraints. You can also toggle on a display for the degrees of freedom to see where the sketch is under-constrained.
See John Baker demonstrate these changes to the NX 11 Sketcher in our latest NX Quick Tips video.